Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Illusion of NEW Jobs for DC

As Co-Director of The National Capital Jobs Coalition I am legitimately concerned about new jobs for residents of The District of Columbia.  Why then, am I opposed to the influx of new Walmart stores here in DC?  

There Will be NO NEW JOBS! 
After studying the company’s record, operating history and reviewing economic and demographic studies I oppose WalMart for a number of reasons.  The principal claim made by supporters is that these stores will mean decent jobs for the residents of our city.  The truth , according to local economist Michael Siegel, and supported by other independent studies in Chicago and elsewhere, is that although Walmart  claims to bring 1200 jobs to DC.  In fact it will cost our City 1,600, a net loss of 400 jobs.  Even a casual inquiry will reveal a history littered with broken promises of jobs and prosperity.  In fact what Walmart provides and what our politicos are buying is the illusion of jobs.  

 The WalMart Record is Appalling
Walmart, as a matter of policy under pays and overworks the majority of its employees.  The Walmart jobs available to city residents will be minimum wage and mostly part time.  The company maintains its extraordinary profit margins by a systematic policy of worker exploitation, a statement supported by the record. Walmart intentionally under staffs their stores forcing low paid employees to work harder and longer without overtime and even unpaid off-the-clock.

WalMart Has a History of Unethical Behavior
I also oppose Walmart on ethical and moral issues.  Walmart has been repeatedly sued for unethical and unlawful business practices.  Wal-Mart has paid millions to settle class-action lawsuits that asserted Wal-Mart employees have been forced to work off-the-clock.   The plain truth is that most jobs open to DC workers will not be jobs at all, but in fact will be little more than subsidized servitude. This is worker exploitation in its worst form and a most bitter pill to those who so badly need legitimate jobs to support and raise their families.

 Walmart Puts Workers on Food Stamps
As a matter of policy Walmart has employees apply for Food Stamps and Medicaid, thus forcing the municipalities in which it operates to support Walmart’s overhead.   To the politicians and others who tout the benefits of Walmart and to the citizens of our city who support them.  I repeat the old adage: “Be careful what you wish for … you may get it.”